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Water that's sharp as a knife

Water that's sharp as a knife

Posting in Food

This water jet cutter can make a clean slice through soft pastries and hard vegetables.

What do water and knives have in common? Well, if fired at a high enough speed, water can cut just like a knife.

The water jet cutter uses a high pressure water jet to force water through a diamond-shaped nozzle that is a mere 0.004 inches in diameter. Paprima, the Canadian company that makes the cutter, says that it shoots water at three times the speed of sound and can make a clean cut through hard and soft materials.

"Water-jet technology is an excellent choice when processing viscous, gelatinous and multi-ingredient food products such as baked goods (snack bars), and confectionary (fruit extrusions)," Paprima said in a statement.

And the benefits go beyond cutting. DISCOVER magazine's Discoblog reports: "It also, as long as the water is clean, does not leave bacteria on them, which is a downside of using a metal knife to process sliced foods."

The cutter has been proven to work on fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and pastries. Note: It can also cut fingers. But you might not have to worry about that because the cutter is not commercially available.

It Slices, It Dices With a Minuscule Jet of High-Speed Water Instead of a Knife

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Amy Kraft

Weekend Editor

Contributing Editor Amy Kraft is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for New Scientist and DNAinfo and has produced podcasts for Scientific American's 60-Second-Science. She holds degrees from CUNY Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Illinois at Chicago. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure